Scientifiques de l’US L’agence spatiale NASA a déclaré que les restes d’une mission lunaire sans pilote des années 1960 pourraient être retournés en orbite autour de la Terre 54 years later
Les scientifiques ont découvert l’objet pour la première fois en septembre, à l’aide d’un télescope spécial sur l’île hawaïenne de MauiIls pensaient à l’origine qu’il s’agissait d’un petit astéroïde et l’ont nommé 2020 SOLorsqu’ils ont découvert que la trajectoire de l’objet le rapprocherait de la Terre, cela a été porté à l’attention du Center for Near Earth Objects (cueÖ) du Jet Propulsion Laboratory de la NASA en Californie.
But scientists quickly noticed that the object's orbit was different from that of a normal asteroid While the typical asteroid has an elongated orbit and is tilted relative to Earth, the orbit of this object was almost on the exact orbital plane of the Earth.
The director of CNEOS, Paul Chodas, said further study and measurements of the object clearly showed it was likely man-made, depending on its size and density, and probably a piece of rocket.Chodas suspected it was a remnant of a lunar mission, and to prove it, he rolled back the orbit of the SO 2020, making its closest path to Earth until September 1966.
This corresponded to the launch date of the Surveyor lunar lander 2 from NASA, an unmanned probe designed to land on the surface of the Moon and study possible landing sites before the Apollo missions, who would place men on the lunar surface for the first time in 1969.
The probe was launched onto an Atlas-Centaur rocket and separated from its Centaur top-stage amplifier shortly after take-off, and the spacecraft malfunctioned a day later when one of its boosters failed to ignite and the probe has crashed on the moon The Centaur upper stage rocket is exhausted, as for her, passed the Moon and disappeared in an unknown orbit around the Sun.
Now, he seems to be back, if only for a relatively brief visit NASA scientists believe Earth's gravity has caused 2020 SO in an outer orbit on 8 November, turning around 15 millions of kilometers above our planet They expect to be there about four months before escaping into a new orbit around the Sun in March.
NASA says that 2020 SO will make two large loops around Earth with its closest approach on December 1, which is when astronomers will take a closer look and study its composition using spectroscopy to confirm if it is indeed 'an artifact from the beginning of the space age.
Terre, NASA, geocentric orbit, moon landing, rocket, thruster
News – United States – The rocket of the years 1960 may have returned to Earth orbit
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